Finding Fitness is more than just about scoping out the latest fitness trends; it’s about finding exciting new ways to focus on the most important subject of any story: you. From extreme sports to strange and, sometimes, uncomfortable classes, this feature is all about finding the best fitness to maximize your health. Stay tuned to find out what new and exciting fitness endeavors are in the area.
What is POUND?
In POUND, working out meets rocking out.
POUND incorporates specially weighted drumsticks, called Ripstix, and workout mats into a musical, rhythmic routine that focuses on conditioning, strength and cardio, according to the official POUND website.
According to Jennifer Rodriguez, a certified POUND instructor who has been teaching since August 2016, typical beginner classes are about 30 minutes long, while more advanced classes can be around 45 minutes.
Rodriguez said that typical 30 minute classes begin with a warm-up to loosen up the muscles; then move onto a routine where students are standing up and moving in a basic side-to-side movement with slow cardio and abdominal exercises; then to a position on the mat to work the core, legs and arms from side to side; then to a position where students are lying on their backs to work their core, legs and arms; and a lunge position to do lunges and squats. The class ends with a cool-down. Rodriguez also said that as students become more familiar with the class, they can do more intense versions of the same movement that can incorporate more turning or lifting.
Mats and Ripstix are usually provided for participants.
Rodriguez said that POUND gives you a full-body workout to a variety of different kinds of music, from classical and heavy metal to R&B and pop.
“There is cardio involved, but there’s a lot of rhythmic movements. It’s like you’re a drummer in a band, but you’re using the sticks to work your muscles,” she explained.
During a POUND class, instructors will preview the next movements to show participants what’s coming up.
“[POUND has] very fast, explosive movements that help you improve your anaerobic capacity. So it’s kind of like hitting cardio,” Rodriguez said. “You don’t realize you’re doing it, but you motivate and move with the music. You just feel like you’re in a band.”
POUND was created in Los Angeles in 2011 by Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenbroom, who were both athletes and drummers, and there are now over 7,000 certified POUND instructors with classes in 35 countries, according to the workout’s website.
What are the health benefits and risks?
According to Rodriguez, POUND works out the arms, legs, gluteus and core, and also helps you increase flexibility.
“If you’re doing movements [in] 360 degrees, you’re constantly moving,” she said. “There’s no part of your body, except for maybe your toes, that you’re not working.”
Rodriguez explained that age or fitness level doesn’t inhibit anyone from taking a POUND class. She said that for every movement, there’s a variation.
“So if you have say somebody who is [older] and they’re not able to do squats or to bend certain ways, there are modifications for everything based on their particular level… There’s very flexible programming. There’s different rhythms,” she said.
As for health risks, although there are gentler variations for each movement, pre-existing injuries can be an issue, and Rodriguez recommended consulting a doctor before participating in POUND. She said that the only injuries she’s seen occur are when someone lets go of a stick and it hits someone else.
What’s POUND like?
Rodriguez called POUND “empowering.”
“When you’re in front of the class and you’re banging drumsticks, you get the sense of a power move,” she described. “At that moment, you almost feel invincible and you don’t feel like you’re exercising; you feel like you’re drumming.”
According to Rodriguez, there’s not a lot of talking during class because participants are focused on the beat of the music, and the atmosphere in a class resembles the atmosphere at a really loud rock concert.
“You can feel the energy level immediately increase,” she said. “Everybody’s happy. It’s an amazing form of stress relief… No matter what has gone on in your week or your day or your life, when you’re in that class, anything that maybe bothers you or makes you feel a certain way, when you’re pounding, you’re taking out that aggression on it.”
Places to try POUND
The Art of Dance
153 S.E. 1st Avenue, Boca Raton, FL 33432
Tuesdays and Fridays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m.
Peter Blum Family YMCA of Boca Raton
6631 Palmetto Circle South, Boca Raton, FL 33433
Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Caption: In POUND, rocking out and working out become one.
Credit: J. Rodriguez